I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked the following…”What is the
return on investment for online community building activities?”

The question is an important one. But to answer it, I’d like to take off my
linear direct response hat. Oh no….many people say. It’s all about dollars
and cents.

But I’d like to say, dollars and cents rely on the quality of your online
community and each person’s individual experience with you.

Over the past several months, several of our clients have blazed online
community-building trails. Each one had metrics by which they judged
success, but the metrics went beyond response rates and conversion rates. We
were talking number of people in attendance, number of blog comments, # of
photo submissions, qualitative data from surveys, among others.

This is not to say that fundraising and list-building aren’t key factors in
our overall strategy. But cultivation and community are components that
should be weighted just as importantly.